EARLIER this year, Darcy Miller, the editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings, was planning a photo spread for the fall issue.
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“The concept of the story was that it’s a runway show, so we set up the shoot with chairs and an audience so it looked like the models are coming down the runway,” Ms. Miller said.
She recalled thinking a few days before the photo session that “it wouldn’t be a runway show without people who’d really be there.”
So among the “extras” in the audience she placed Ronnie Rothstein, an owner of Kleinfeld Bridal, the venerable New York store, and Sylvia Weinstock, the well-known New York cake maker. But she also invited Jacqueline Weppner, Bee Kim and Jillian Clark, founders of the wedding blogs Merci New York, Weddingbee and 100 Layer Cake.
She put them in the front row, with the members of the wedding industry establishment. That provides a cultural indicator of the growing importance of wedding blogs. A financial indicator occurred in 2008 when eHarmony, the online dating company, bought two blogs, Project Wedding and Ms. Kim’s Weddingbee.
And with the closing last year of three major bridal magazines, Elegant Bride, Modern Bride and InStyle Weddings, blogs have become crucial tools for even more brides-to-be, and provide an immediacy that magazines simply cannot, though some magazines have their own well-established blogs.
Vané Broussard, a founder of the B-List, an organization of professional wedding bloggers, estimates that there are up to 100 in the United States.
Most sites post between one and three times a day, but the few blogs that have a staff post up to 10 times a day during the workweek, Ms. Broussard said. Most wedding magazines, on the other hand, publish quarterly or twice a year.
The number of readers for Weddingbee in July was 716,000, according to comScore, which provides online metrics. Smaller blogs could have as few as 200 readers, said Liene Stevens, a charter member of the B-List.
Sara McCarty of St. Louis said that during the 14 months of planning for her July 2009 wedding near Jackson Hole, Wyo., “I started with some of the magazines, but I moved to the blogs because there were so many more ideas.”
Ms. McCarty, 30, added that she subscribed to more than 50 blogs, where she heard directly from brides about the ups and downs of wedding preparation, and was able to chat with some of them on online forums.
She added that this was “more helpful than a million pages of ads” in bridal magazines.
Vendors have found blogs useful — sometimes very useful.
In July Michele M. Waite, a wedding photographer in Bellingham, Wash., had her work featured on the blog Green Wedding Shoes.
“Within 24 hours I had seven different inquiries for weddings from around the United States, and I booked four,” said Ms. Waite, who has been in business for 16 years. Over the last few years she has been featured in several blogs.
“My business has gone from being very, very local to very not local,” she added.
Claudia Hanlin, a New York wedding planner, said that blogs have made everything seem within reach. “I can use a stationer in San Francisco, or a linen company from Miami, all of which I’ve found through blogs,” she said.
Peter Callahan, the owner of a New York catering business that bears his name, said he had noticed that blogs have even influenced menu requests.
“Brides are coming in asking for comfort food at the end of their weddings,” he said. “Another trend they say they have gotten from wedding blogs are doughnuts, with glaze the color of their wedding gown, or to match the bridesmaids’ dresses.”
Another bride-to-be, Jacqui Bay Carter, 29, of Charlottesville, Va., began “devouring” blogs early on, she said.
She wrote in an e-mail that she and her fiancé, Will Slusher, “found the ideas for our invitations on Once Wed, my entire bridal party’s ensemble on Style Me Pretty and my brand new letterpress machine on 100 Layer Cake.” The letterpress will be used for the invitations to their wedding, in October 2011.
Still, all that immediacy and interactivity does not always lead to instant gratification.
“Blogs are nice in that when brides are ready to place an order with a vendor, they have all their ideas already,” said Maria Cooke, an event planner in Alexandria, Va. “But I have a lot of florist friends I work with daily, and they’ll say couples automatically look at the picture of a flower setting without asking, ‘Is it within my budget?’ or even, ‘Are the flowers even available at that time of year?’ ”
A version of this article appeared in print on September 12, 2010, on page ST22 of the New York edition.
Something to chew on this Monday. Here's a really interesting article from the New York Times about bridal blogs. If you're thinking about starting one of your own or if you just love reading and flipping through blogs, you should give this article a read. Really interesting how blogs have taken place of magazines. You can also view the article by Eric Copage on NYTimes.com.